The 1st National Conference on Mental Health of Persons Affected
by Family Separation
by Origins Inc
The conference was attended by 200 persons. At least 60% of attendees were professionals, indigenous and non-indigenous,
the remainder comprised of persons who were affected or interested in the issues discussed, these included persons representing
support groups, local and interstate and consumers.
The majority of presenters were mainly from interstate, with representations from indigenous groups from as
far away as Western Australia, Groote Island, Darwin, NT, SA and Victoria and many other interstate destinations.
The conference was opened by Senator Andrew Murray and Mr Fred Malone of the Gandangara land Council.
Presenters included Dr Geoffrey Rickarby MB BS FRANZCP Consultant Psychiatrist, Professor Bryanne Barnette,
Professor John MacDonald UWS, Tim Keogh, Dr David Crawford UWS, Nancy DeVries, Dr Joanna Penglase, Wendy Jacobs B.Sc., B.A,
Dr Deborah Ambry, Dr Arthur Chesterfield Evans, David Rich, Ann Symonds and a further large number of professionals and consumers.
Presentations were given on Trauma, loss and grief, detention, reproductive technologies, men's mental health
issues of separation, identity, plus a wide range of other issues affecting mental health.
The conference was deemed a major success by all who attended and the keynote speakers were recorded. Copies
of presentations can be obtained from Quickcopy, ph 9646 3699.
The collation of the papers will commence immediately and publication will be effected on funding approval.
Our organisation has since been approached by the State Library to archive our websites as an historical collection. This
includes some of our research on mental health issues.
There is a need for more conferences of this kind and more research into persons suffering from family separation
who are in institutional care, more suicide research and acknowledgement and public education.